Friday, October 12, 2007

3 Week Travelogue In Summary

Concluding Vietnam - Part 2

Next stop - HCM city. Reached & checked in our hostel around 11+ and after a short break, we embarked on our city tour to the reunification palace & war remnants museum. There was a free palace tour which was educational. Next stop was the depressing war remnants museum, where we were presented with pictures after pictures of the atrocities of the American soldiers during the Vietnam war. Damn terrible the things that were done. The bomb, which caused severe after-effects & the inhumane tortures carried out to the prisoners. Deeply disturbing.
Next day was a tour of Cu Chi tunnel where we were brought to a channel of tunnel networks built by the Viet Comm (Communists) during the war time. It is amazing how they came up with such a wide network of tunnels, linking anywhere & everywhere, with traps & escape channels here & there! They were simply smart! The tunnels are really small & cramp & stuffy! Imagine the VCs living inside the tunnels! We experienced the feeling of walking through the tunnel for 140m, & it was quite terrible. Really cramp, & had to walk squatting throughout, with limited lights (almost pitch black most of the time). It can be quite scary esp for people who are afraid of the dark cos at times, u seriously cannot see wat's in front of u or wat u'r going to face in front! Thumbs-up, must go visit! Our tour guide - Mr Bin was a former American soldier during the war. He's vietnamese but worked for the Americans & he was pretty emotional when he talked about the past. Apparently, he's helped quite a number of authors & directors by providing information for their work! Must go search for his recommendations...

Emerging sweaty & hot from the Cu Chi tunnel

Street side food - Some noodle in dono wat soup Nice & cheap at S$1.20

HCM city - Seriously nth much to explore. Well of cos we had Pho (Vietnamese noodles) & actually the food is not too ex there! What's the best is - Fruit Shakes!!! For abt S$0.50, u get a big cup of freshly blended fruit shake! Nope they don't use milk, it's just fresh fruits + shaved ice + evaporated milk & wala! U have the delicious & thick fruit shake! Worth every cent! Highly recommended! Any street side stall will do!!

Gloomy weather @ Mekong

Us & the French, acting as Cham minorities

Our last stop in Vietnam was the Mekong Delta. We joined a 2D1N Mekong trip that'll cover our cross-over to Cambodia (Phnom Penh). The 1st day started out great but ended up raining heavily when we boarded our boat trip. Unlucky but the rain stopped after a while.. Our guide was great & funny, cracking jokes at us tourists (yaya trying to 'match make' us tourists). Our group consisted of Us, 2 french guys, an american lady & 2 aussie aunties. We separated after the 2nd day morning rowing boat ride as the french are continuing on the Mekong trip while us ladies headed off to Cambodia.

Custom wait was the worst... 1hr stuck at the custom waiting for the visas & checking to be done. Once done, we had to endure a 3hr boat ride to Cambodia & 2hr BUMPY bus ride to Phnom Penh. Yes, it was really bumpy, like rollar coaster without the ups & downs! Amazing... We splitted ways with the 2 aussie aunties in Phnom Penh. Abt the 2 aunties, amazing! They're on a long & adventurous trip in Vietnam. After cambodia, they're going back to Hanoi & travelling down south, doing abit of biking trip & camping in between! Imagine aunties backpacking, camping & biking! So happening right!!

Stay tuned for more on Cambodia...

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